Hikari Friday Time! Funko Wants You To Win Something Big, Sticky And Ghosty…

HIkari Premium logoAs summer slowly winds down, what better way to close it out than with memories of roasting marshmallows and not-so scary ghost stories? Well, that’s the first thing I thought of when I saw this week’s Hikari giveaway. Funko is giving away this awesome Burnt Stay Puft Premium Hikari Sofubi Figure (#1 of only 1500 made):

Burnt Stay Puft Premium Hikari Sofubi Figure

And yes, YOU can be the lucky winner! Or the VERY unlucky winner if that thing ever comes to life and grows to the size it did in Ghostbusters! Anyway, as usual, just hit up one of Funko’s social media sites:

http://www.facebook.com/OriginalFunko
http://www.twitter.com/OriginalFunko
Instagram @OriginalFunko

Take a chance and perhaps you’ll get that email that says you’ve won big! Er, just keep an eye out for the box WALKING down the street towards your house. If you’re a loser, you can buy one of these limited edition Premium vinyls in November at your favorite Funko retailer. Have a super and SAFE Labor Day, by the way!

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Jupiter Ascending: WB & The Wachowskis Gamble On The Proper Audiences Rising To The Occasion…

jupiter_ascending_xlgjupiter_ascending_ver2 Ah, I see the internet is speaking up again with disapproval about another big budget film project by the Wachowskis, this time, it’s Jupiter Ascending, the siblings’ high-concept but somewhat familiar sci-fi action/adventure set for a February 2015 release. Granted, I’ve been on the “what the hell is THIS?” tip on a few of their post-Matrix projects, but repeated viewings have made me appreciate Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas more than I did when I first saw them.

At this stage of the game, I say let them have at it, as their films wrap up more creativity and visual punch than some that swipe from their earlier work. Granted, The Matrix trilogy was clearly inspired by lots of anime and manga plus a few Hong Kong action flicks and other things. But for American and other audiences that never encountered these influences, it was a breath of fresh air (for the most part). I’d gather both the Wachowskis as well as Warner Bros. have predicted this new normal of over-criticism based on trailers and clips (which is nothing new at all except the speed of people tearing things apart has grown exponentially faster thanks to social media), but these days it’s like EVERY movie is seen as Heaven’s Gate was initially, and everyone with access to a computer of some sort and an internet connection thinks they’re a great film critic or historian in training.

What Is Best In Life - Corrected Well, I suppose ignoring the usual suspects is the best revenge, as you can only fight with so many fools before you grow tired of what you do and head for the nearest bar. Or nearest window in some extreme cases. Noli nothi permittere te terere. is all I have to say (and I hope to hell I got that right)…

Interstellar 60-Second Trailer: Hold Onto Your Seats (Again) For A Minute…

As noted previously, Interstellar promises to be another “deep thought” film experience from Christopher Nolan, so I’m looking forward to those conversations with people who didn’t “get” something in the film or were hoping for a typical Hollywood ending and didn’t get that and think they wasted whatever it cost to buy a ticket. *Sigh*, yeah… opinions and the internet can be a pain in the rear end sometimes. Anyway, I’m predicting big things for this one even if it’s not a box-office buster like less cerebral movies turn out to be. It’ll certainly be something to keep in mind as a future home video purchase as I think it’ll be a film worth watching a few times…

As usual, we shall see…

Random Film of the Week: Once Upon A Time In America

Once Upon A Time In America MPThe first time I saw Once Upon A Time In America, I hated it. Not because it was a “bad” film at all, mind you. Hell, I was a mere 20 years old and not much of the older, wiser appreciator of film I’ve become (along with possibly being a little bit of a pompous ass about it), so going in at that age and “getting” all that director Sergio Leone intended was going to be way above my head. Actually, I’d read that the film was very heavily edited by the studio and that made me dislike what I saw more than any issues I had with Leone’s craft. Which was none, by the way.

That initial 139-minute release was so butchered as to render whole scenes meaningless or confusing upon my initial viewing, but there was no denying the compelling performances from the entire cast, Tonino Delli Colli’s absolutely gorgeous cinematography, Ennio Morricone’s epic, near-operatic score and Leone’s assured yet polarizing directorial choices that confused some in the theater I saw the film with who were expecting the third coming of The Godfather (a film Leone was picked to direct at one point). Yes, I “hated” the film, but I knew I had to see it again because there was enough there… no, more than enough that made it a truly great film that was chopped up and placed in what the studio felt was a proper order. I’d gather the powers that be assumed audiences weren’t patient enough to get into a film that was intentionally going to flip the crime genre on its head by being more than just a crime drama.

Flash forward thirty years and all the pieces (well, most of them) are in place, the film is back in my life (and more widely available thanks to a recent Blu-Ray version) in nearly its full glory and celebrated as a masterpiece. And yet, it’s still a properly vexing viewing experience if you go into it expecting what it’s not… Continue reading

Interstellar Trailer #3: Brainy Blockbuster Alert…

Chris Nolan’s upcoming sci-fi drama Interstellar certainly looks as if will be quite the ride, but not of the many explosions per second and impossible close calls galore variety. Although, amusingly enough some of that stuff seems to be in this new trailer (out of proper context, I’m gathering). Already, some of the film is telegraphing itself (this looks like a one way trip and the fate of humanity depends on this mission’s success), but par for the course here, I’m not going to let a trailer decide whether or not I like an entire film. I’m kind of immune to most trailers these days, no matter how cool they look or sound thanks to some films being less enjoyable to sit through for longer than the running time of the average trailer. Or am I just being a cranky cynic here? Again.

Anyway, November will tell all about this one and I can certainly wait until then. Heck, my plate is pretty full as it is, so a little suspense will do me good.

SDCC 2014: Sin City: A Dame To Kill For Red Band Trailer: Up To Snuff, As Expected!

Sin City 2 Small Ah, the always interesting “Red Band” trailer. Want to see stuff that’s kind of NSFW but not spoiling the film much if at all?  Hey, I say you SHOULD watch this just to see if this sequel is as rough and tough as the original just so you can see that you have nothing to worry about at all.  Well, here you go. Below are some new posters for the film, which is set for an August 25, 2014 release at a theater near you. I don’t expect much of anything “happy” happening here at all (I’ve read the comics already), but I know the film will be funny in spots in that “Hmmm, I shouldn’t be laughing but I can’t help myself!” manner parts of the first Sin City nailed so well…

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SDCC 2014: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Teaser Makes Me Feel A Bit Green…

The third part of Peter Jackson’s busy amusement park version of Middle-earth is on the way to theaters in December and as you can see from this teaser trailer, you’ll be getting pretty much what you expected if you liked the other two parts of this two part film expanded into three. I’m actually a film behind in this saga (I need to see The Desolation of Smaug at some point), so I’m not in a tearing hurry to rush out to a theater 11+ miles away and see this one. Heck, given the extended, special, collectors and other edition home video versions that are BOUND to surface in 2015 and onward, I may as well wait until the DEFINITIVE version of this trilogy rolls out just so I can see every bit of film as it was intended to be seen (er, as far as home versions go). I should probably just follow a friend’s advice and get a nice HD projector to make that one big white wall in the living room a mini movie palace, but we’ll see what happens financially over the next few months or so.

Oh, and you can actually WIN a nice trip to New Zealand to poke around some of the actual locations from the film (minus the green screen effects, of course). That video above will clue you into how to enter and such. Good Luck!

SDCC 2014: Mad Max: Fury Road: It’s Miller Time Again (Hardy Har-Har)…

Well, well, well. it looks as if George Miller is back in the creative chair with this reboot that doesn’t need Mad Mel at all to look pretty action-packed and dare I say… “essential” to some extent. It seems like practical effects are in play for the most part (a good thing), and that offbeat sense of violent humor is intact from the previous Mad Max films. For those griping about the lack of Mr. Gibson, just give it a rest until you see the film next year or at least read a review or two before you put that foot down too hard. I say the man’s too old to be the lead here and he’s box office poison to some people thanks to his outside work views on certain things that can’t be separated fully from anything he does on screen. Besides (and this is the important thing), Tom Hardy is a fine enough substitute as an action hero, especially if this one’s sequel-ready for a few installments and he wants to come back.

TUSK: Kevin Smith Is Still Making Movies After All (This Is A Good Thing)…

 

tusk_xlgWhile I can live without the jokier stuff he’s famous for, I actually liked Red State quite a lot because it felt like the director was really stretching himself into new territory and the film worked exceptionally well as a result. Smith’s upcoming TUSK looks and sounds pretty darn intriguing, mixing its old school mad scientist played by the great Michael Parks with Justin Long’s modern hipster blogger looking for a the ultimate story who BECOMES said story:

Of course, given this summer’s lousy receipts from all those purported “blockbusters”, this one probably won’t be up there on the all-unimportant charts at all. On the other hand, I can see it becoming Smith’s biggest film to date provided people go in not expecting the usual and with open minds. If anything, this one’s going to be quite the conversation piece after it’s been seen, I’d bet…

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Guardians of the Galaxy Clip Joint: What You See Isn’t Even Close To What You’ll Get…

So, some early reviews are in and all are stating this is not only one of the best movies this summer, but quite possibly the best Marvel movie to date. I figured all of those end credits scenes were adding up to something and from what I’ve read (and heard from someone who was at a screening), fans will be knocked off their feet a few times and then some.

One thing I figured that would work from the start with these films was having different directors with different styles working on different franchises similar to how different writers and artists work on the different comics. While there’s a certain uniformity to elements of the look and continuity across each of the films since the first Iron Man, it’s been fun to watch most of these movies and see how a particular director’s vision works within the (Disney) Marvel Universe.

James Gunn seemed like the oddest choice to direct GotG at first, but his own offbeat sense of humor and musical tastes have spilled over into the film and works well to the point where he’s probably going to be the go-to guy for the next film with this team… Continue reading